Riffs: Does George Michael's life of crime affect his music? Let's find out!
By Allison Stewart
The arrests. The trolling for sex in public parks. By now it's pretty clear: George Michael's issues go well beyond his fondness for smoking more pot than Mischa Barton, James Franco and the Insane Clown Posse combined.
"People want to see me as tragic," Michael told British newspaper the Guardian last year. "I think it removes people's envy to see your weaknesses. I don't even see them as weaknesses any more. It's just who I am."
We long for the day when Michael's name won't appear with the words "found slumped behind the wheel" next to it. In the meantime, we wondered: Do Michael's arrests have any bearing on the music he makes? The answer: Kind of!
Michael hasn't released an album of new material since 2004 so it's hard to tell, but we compared his arrest record with his actual records, and came up with the following:
The incident: In '98, Michael is arrested in a public bathroom in a park in Beverly Hills, charged with "engaging in a lewd act" with a male undercover officer.
The legal aftermath: Michael pays a fine, does 80 hours of community service.
The musical aftermath: Michael releases "Outside," a song about getting busy outside (sample lyric: "I'd service the community/But I already have"). The video features Michael in a bathroom-turned-disco, dressed as a cop.
The incident: In February 2006, Michael is found slumped over the wheel of his car in London, and is taken into custody for possession of a "Class C" substance (in England, those include pot and painkillers).
The legal aftermath: He's cautioned by police.
The musical aftermath: Michael tells reporters, "I won't make a record out of this one, even though it is tempting."
(More of Michael's one-man crime wave, after the jump)
The incident: In October 2006, Michael is found slumped over the wheel of his Mercedes in Cricklewood, London. Pot is found in the car.
The legal aftermath: 100 hours of community service, banned from driving for two years.
The musical aftermath: The next month, Michael releases the greatest hits package "Twenty Five," with the new track "An Easier Affair." Sample lyric: "Better believe I'm gonna get what’s mine/See I don’t have the time/For the haters."
The incident: In August 2009, Michael is arrested for impaired driving after smashing his Range Rover into the back of a truck on a British highway.
The legal aftermath:No charges are filed.
The musical aftermath: Michael releases a Christmas single, "December Song." Sample lyric: "Maybe since you’ve gone/I went a little crazy."
The incident: Michael crashes a Range Rover into the Snappy Snaps photo shop in Hampstead, England. Charged with pot possession and driving under the influence.
The legal aftermath: He's due in court August 24th, and could face jail time, though it's likely to be Lindsay Lohan-type jail time, not actual, serious jail time.
The musical aftermath: To be determined.
August 13, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories: Riffs | Tags: George Michael
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